Just two weeks to go until the District playoffs start and EVERYONE is now on high alert . . . and on jangled nerves, about a potential Covid phone call. One high profile coach basically told me he dreads looking at the phone until school gets out and I can understand that fully. You read about a game getting cancelled right now and the ONLY thing that comes to mind is “was there a positive test result from a player or a contact tracing”?
Heck, I am kind of feeling that too as soon the readership will be expecting predictions and those can be ruined just as easily for me as for any coach/team out there.
Will the FHSAA allow a District finalist to substitute for a District winner before the first round starts if a winning team has a positive test and has to bow out? Matter of fact, are differences in how counties have handled their regulations potentially going to impact the brackets this year? And who makes the final call about eligibility to play if one player has a contact tracing linkage? Does the County disqualify the player or the team in County A while the player is the only one to be suspended in County B?
I hope to get answers on these tomorrow.
An Apology to the Middle School Kids!
I completely forgot to publish the Submit Game Recap for the Middle School game last week.
I PROMISE it makes this week’s postings!
Howard Schnellenberger Passes Away
Most readers know him as a legendary football coach, assisting Bear Bryant at Alabama, where he was credited with being the man who recruited Joe Namath to Alabama, head coaching stints in college and as an assistant with the 1972 Miami Dolphins. A national title at UM and the man who built the FAU program from scratch.
Most football fans had no idea how much of a lacrosse fan he was.
Besides having grandchildren who played, he was also a fixture at Florida Launch games at FAU, in the stadium that is affectionately called ‘the House That Howard Built’. It was at these games that Marcela and I were privileged to get to know Howard, as we would sit down with him in the Club Lounge before many games and chat.
And that led to a funny story.
Howard had that ‘old courtly Southern charm’ personality when talking to a woman and also loved to take people he met on a tour of the stadium. I was there to cover the team for the web site and one day I walked over to talk to one of the players and when I turned back to call Marcela and a few guests over to introduce them they were nowhere to be found.
Howard had invited the gathered to take the tour with him and off they went as I wondered what happened to my party. Finally found them on the top floor as Howard was finishing the tour!
You made their day Howard. And you also made the day for a friend of mine named Derrick, who worked with me at my Broker/Dealer and was a University of Alabama grad who worshipped the Crimson Tide program. Derrick got to meet one of his heroes and he wasn’t disappointed.
I enjoyed our chats Howard and I only wished I had one more. You are one of the true pillars of what Florida became as a state and we only wish your family the best. RIP Howard and light up a cigar up there; sitting back and relaxing. And tell the lacrosse fans up there how you are going to find a way to build another stadium, but this time for our sport!
Key Games Last Week
Obviously the biggest event of the past week was the Rivalry on the River, at the Episcopal School in Jacksonville and we had two complete barnburners in the Ponte Vedra-Bartram Trail Girls OT game and the one-goal win by Ponte Vedra over Creekside on the Boys side, a game that was the best game I’ve seen this year!
But the scoreboard was filled with excitement all week long, as teams rose and fell back. Riverview with the big win over Jesuit, SJP with the road win over Oxbridge after falling by one at Benjamin. Winter Park and Oviedo continuing their great seasons, and so many more.
We’ve been dodging Covid issues all year and if ever there was a year where we should be thinking about the glass being half-full, this is it.
Take advantage of a local game this week and the rest of the season, we’ve all learned not to take anything for granted again.
The Underdog Upset of the Week
This one is pretty simple.
Westminster Christian 16-7 over Columbus. The same Columbus that was ranked in the Top 15 by both myself and the FSLCA Coaches Poll in the preseason.
Westminster was showing signs of breaking through this year. They lost their first three games to Belen, Gulliver and Western but got closer each game and the Western game was an OT loss. Another 2-goal loss to Gulliver was followed by 3 easy wins . . . and then this game put them over the hump.
Last year they didn’t play but WC was 2-4 when the season stopped, including a loss to Key West. That’s a far cry from what they are accomplishing this year and the Columbus win is a huge step for their program. Congratulations to them!
Rivalry on the River
What an event.
The games are already posted on YouTube on Gemstone Media.
If you didn’t get to watch any of the live event, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Thank you to all involved and for including FLN in the event and I hope to be invited back next year!
You know the penalty for failing to get to 1,000 Subscribers!
Debby Boone wasn’t tough enough on you, so this is what you get!
And if you don’t think I can make it even more painful? Well, just try me . . .
You don’t want to know what’s coming next!
Okay, Time For The Polls!
Class 1A Poll for 3/21/21
- Saint Andrew’s
- Oak Hall
- Jesuit of Tampa
- Pine Crest
- Saint John Paul II
- Belen Jesuit
- Lake Highland Prep
- Cardinal Mooney
- St. Edward’s
- Berkeley Prep
- (t) Gulf Breeze & Episcopal of Jacksonville
Class 2A Poll for 3/21/21
- Ponte Vedra
- Winter Park
- St. Thomas Aquinas
- Lake Mary
- Gulf Coast
- Lake Brantley
Lay off the refs!
And have a great week!
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